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6 signs you know it’s time to transfer foster agency

When you’re a foster parent, one of the most important things is being satisfied with your foster agency. But what happens if you’re not happy?

April 4 2022 - 8 min read

foster parent and child

Transferring fostering agencies is the best way to ensure you feel happy and supported all while continuing to change vulnerable children’s lives.

If you’re unsure how to transfer foster care agency or what the transfer process is, then don’t worry. In this guide, we’ll share the signs it’s time to switch, and how to do it easily.

Signs it’s time to transfer foster care agency

  1. You’re not getting treated like an equal member of the team

    Fostering isn’t a single-player endeavor. It’s a team effort that involves you, your foster child, and your agency. Because fostering is a journey, you should never feel alone. Your agency needs to be with you every step of the way, responding to your needs with a friendly ear, offering training, and any resource you need to feel confident and comfortable.

    When you don’t feel like part of the team, it can make you feel disappointed and out of your depth.

    At FCA, we always listen to our foster parents but also the children they look after. We do this through our Children’s Participation teams, who are specifically there to engage with our foster children so that everyone’s voices are heard. This involving and empowering culture ensures everyone is valued and treated with respect. Something we actively strive towards each and every day.

  2. Lack of support

    Great support from a foster agency gives you a positive fostering experience. It fills you with confidence and allows you to provide the highest level of care for your child.

    This support should always be available to you, whenever you need it. Through phone calls, home visits, drop-in visits, and appointments with the agency.

    If you find yourself constantly frustrated and alone through a lack of support from your current agency, then you should consider transferring.

  3. Insufficient financial support

    Fostering is a full-time job, and for a lot of foster parents it’s their only job. As such, the financial support needs to be sufficient for both caring for your child and giving you the lifestyle you want.

    When you’re not receiving the pay and carer benefits you need from your agency, or you’re finding yourself using your own resources, then switching to an agency that rewards their foster parents appropriately might be the answer you’re looking for.

    We appreciate how much our foster parents do for the children in their care, and such, we reward them accordingly. From generous foster allowances and additional bonuses, you’ll never feel out of pocket when caring for a child.

  4. A lack of placements

    If you find yourself with a lack of placements, then it might be time to switch agencies. After all, you chose this vocation because you want to help children in need.

    If the placements aren’t coming in, then you’ll find yourself in a bit of a bind. You also don’t get paid when you don’t have a child in your care. This might leave you questioning if fostering is still a viable option for you.

    It could be that your current fostering agency isn’t expertly matching you with suitable children to care for. At FCA, this is a fundamental part of our process to ensure both the child and the foster family can work together harmoniously to bring about positive change. We also work extremely closely with the local authorities and have strong relationships all over the UK. This large reach enables us to connect families with the right children, who go on to make strides in the right direction.

  5. No respite

    Fostering is an incredibly rewarding thing to do with your life, but it can also be challenging and exhausting.

    That’s why a lot of agencies offer respite care for their foster parents. This is when a set amount of days or weeks are given where your foster child is placed with another family for a short time while you enjoy a well-deserved break. If your current agency doesn’t provide this and you’re feeling burned out, you may want to consider moving to an agency that wants its foster parents relax and recharge. We offer a minimum of 14 nights paid respite a year – and that’s just one of the benefits of fostering with FCA.

  6. Not enough training

    When you become a foster parent, it’s not enough to be a loving and caring person. You also need the right training to give your foster children the best care and support. Especially as every child is unique and has their own individual struggles.

    This training should always come from your foster agency, which wants the best for you and the child. Training is vital for supporting all children, especially if they have additional physical or mental needs.

Transferring fostering agencies

You’re feeling let down by your current agency. Maybe the support isn’t there, or you can never get hold of them. And this lack of communication is feeling you disappointed, concerned, and even making you question whether you should continue to foster.

Transferring from one fostering agency to another isn’t as hard as you might think. The process to transfer foster care agency when you’re currently fostering a child is slightly different though, so make sure you let the new agency know so they can set up the right protocol for you to get the support you need.

If your main concern is getting a worse service if you change foster agencies, then there are a lot of things you can check to put your mind at rest.

  • Do your research - spend some time researching online and making a shortlist of agencies that feel right to you. Speak to members of the team and ask them any questions you might have. Don’t worry if you have a lot. This is a big decision and you need to be sure.
  • Speak to other carers - what better way to get to know an agency than by speaking with some of their existing foster parents? If you’re thinking I have a foster child can I transfer to the agency? Then speaking with other carers could give you the reassurance you need.
  • Look beyond allowances – fostering allowances play a big part in your decision to foster, but what else can a new agency offer you? Do research around other rewards, such as bonus schemes, for example. At FCA, we pay £500 summer and winter bonuses to all foster parents. We also reinvest a lot of money back into the children through our Children’s Participation teams. This is because we’re passionate about improving the outcomes of all the children in our care.
  • Overall support - when speaking to other agencies, check and see what kind of support they offer foster parents. Do they offer training and will they be available 24/7 if you need them?

A good fostering agency will work with you during the transfer process to make sure you understand what will happen and if you’re currently fostering a child, how you’ll both be supported every step of the way.

How to transfer to a fostering agency UK

You’re already an experienced and loving foster carer and you know the importance of giving high-quality care to vulnerable children.

If your current fostering agency isn’t giving you the support, training, care, or financial support you need, then please consider transferring to us.

You can download our Transfer to Us Guide for more information around the process, or give our team a call. We always value your contribution, and we’re always here to listen and help you shape your foster child’s future.

happy foster child

Are you thinking of transferring foster agencies?

Download the FCA’s guide to transferring foster agencies. Find out more on how to transfer to a different fostering agency and the process involved.

Download

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